Nimi Akinkugbe , the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bestman Games Ltd shared insights on the usefulness of personal finance for everyone in a recent interview.
In December 2012 her company launched the City of Lagos Edition of Monopoly, the first African city edition of Hasbro’s world famous board game. Subsequently, the Nigerian Centenary Edition of Monopoly was launched in February 2014.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Nimi enjoyed a successful banking career spanning 23 years during which she served as General Manager and Head, Private Banking at Stanbic IBTC Plc, Director Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, and afterwards Regional Director (West Africa) and Chief Country Officer for the Wealth & Investment Management Division of Barclays Bank.
Nimi seeks to empower people regarding their finances. She provides frank, practical insights to create a greater awareness and understanding of personal finance and wealth management issues under the auspices of the brand “Money Matters with Nimi,” through speaking engagements, television and radio appearances and social media, the Monopoly Board Games and her book, “A – Z of Personal Finance.” amongst many others
•Why did you decide to leave the banking environment to start your own business?
I enjoyed a fulfilling banking career spanning 23 years but throughout my banking career the subject of personal financial management was at the forefront of my roles in private banking and asset management. I developed a keen interest in money management and could see how much better people fared with financial knowledge and information.
•What is the motive for starting BestMan Games Ltd Africa’s first monopoly city edition- The City of Lagos edition?
Bestman Games is a games company and is the African distributor of Hasbro games including the iconic Monopoly board game. The City of Lagos was the first African City to have its own edition of Monopoly; Lagos is a mega city with well over 20 million inhabitants that has undergone significant transformation. Since our launch of the Lagos Edition we have gone on to launch a Nigerian Centenary edition, Cross River ,Accra and so much more.
•What are the benefits of playing monopoly board games?
The Monopoly Game is much more than a board game; it is has so many intricate facets to it, which make for outstanding educational value. We are able to use this novel tool to present some basic lessons in civics by educating players about some of the laws of the city that are so often overlooked, and to attempt to correct negative behaviour, and reward positive behaviour through fines and rewards in a practical and engaging way.
•How important is it for a woman to be self-sufficient?
Over close to three decades of being involved with money matters, I have witnessed first-hand that women face unique challenges when it comes to their personal finances. We tend to be more tentative, even risk averse and cautious as investors. There are compelling reasons why women must become more aware, engaged, and actively involved in their finances.
•How can we raise kids to become better money managers right from childhood?
As money management is not taught in schools, the onus is on parents, guardians, teachers and other stakeholders, to equip children with this most basic skill that will serve them throughout their lives. We are on a mission to establish Personal Finance School clubs as an extra curricular activity, one school at a time. It is very important to ensure that the next generation is financially literate, to give them the best chance at future financial security.
•You’re a renowned columnist in many newspapers while also giving motivational talks and having your hand in a lot of other pies. How do you juggle your time to accomplish all these?
Yes I do have a lot on my plate, but even though I am extremely busy, I have learned over time to value my time and to try to build in leisure, so that I have lots of fun as well.
•What activities do you to relax?
I work very hard so I try to ensure that I build in leisure as well. A wonderful form of relaxation for me is sailing on Lagos Lagoon with great food and great company. I also love to spend time alone in my garden among the orchids and butterflies; it’s a sanctuary, a place to just be. Music is a primary form of relaxation for me and I manage to play the piano for at least 30 minutes each day, a little longer at weekends.
I love to travel and always manage to grab some rest when I am away. It can be quite difficult to switch off completely in your own environment.